The Valley Technique

I often get asked, “Lisa, what’s the best tip you can share with me to become a more powerful speaker?

When I teach the science of speaking, I’ve got 17 techniques I’ve learned, tweaked, and mastered over the years. But the ONE technique that kicked open the most doors in my career, allowed me to build a POWERFUL business, and literally CHANGED MY LIFE is what I call “The Valley.”

If you want to impact the lives of your audience from a stage, on video, on social media, in print, on a podcast, or in an interview, I invite you to not just learn this technique, but I want you to master it.

When you think of “The Valley,” I want you to visualize the letter V. The V has three points – the top two represent the mountain tops, and the low point at the bottom is the valley.

In this week’s blog, I’ll be teaching you how to seamlessly weave together the three-part “Valley” technique to become a more powerful speaker.

# 1 The Big You (Credibility)

The top left point of the V is what I call “The Big You.” This is where you build your credibility. No shrinking allowed here. Now if you are very humble or reserved, this part is going to be a challenge for you. But as unicorns, gladiators and movers and shakers, I KNOW you are up for the challenge.

This is where you share your highlights. This is where you share your experiences, your accolades, your achievements, and your credentials.This is where you are now on top of the mountain top. You don’t want it to sound like a bio or a resume because you are going to clue them in that you are going to lead them into the low point of the valley.

So you can start with statements like:

Even though I have seven bestsellers and I’ve spoken to and inspired over 86 million people, and I’ve been able to travel and be on every single continent that could be populated by man….

Even though I’ve generated over $80 million in business and in the self-training and self-development industry in my company over the last 27 years…

You see how I just gave you my credentials inside of an “even though” statement?

You can also use this tactic:

What you may or may not know about me is…I’m a bestselling author and have written seven books.


What you may or may not know about me is…I have been featured on every major national platform.

What you may or may not know about me is… I’ve earned over 88 million over my 27 years in business.

So again, this is not spoken like a bio or a resume, it is spoken as if it’s a conversation that is about to lean into the valley with a statement following it, such as:

But what I’m sure you DON’T KNOW about me is …

#2 The Valley (Low point specific incident)

One mistake students on my campus often make is thinking the valley represents the lowest point of their life and all the low points put together. However, the valley is about an incident–a moment in time that is relevant to the topic you are speaking on.

The valley is topic specific because we’ve all got multiple valleys. There are valleys of grief when a loved one passes away. There are valleys of broken hearts. There are valleys of depression. There are valleys of hard financial times. Valleys of difficult health challenges.

It’s understanding these low points that make the mountains and high points feel so good.

So speak to the challenging moment. The specific struggle at the time. The confusion you faced…the self doubt.

Here’s an example of the Big You, and then I’ll take you into the Valley:

What most people know about me is that I have an international training and development company, that I’ve been on Oprah and Larry King and Steve Harvey, and that I have seven bestselling books and run a multi-million dollar business.

But what you might not know about me is that in 1997, I was diagnosed as clinically depressed and prescribed Prozac. I was sad. I was really, really, really sad. I just came out of an abusive relationship, and I didn’t trust Lisa. I was angry at Lisa, because Lisa didn’t just put herself in danger. She put her three-year-old son in danger.

Notice how I picked a specific moment in time? Did you notice how it counterbalances the height of my career and credibility of where I am now?

I chose that as my topic is because I’m teaching on transformation and how to transform your life.

#3 Your Commitment/Purpose/Why

The third element is the top point of the V on the right. This is what shifted. What lesson you learned. What touched you. What you began to do differently. Your purpose or your why. This is the moment that shows, “this is why I’m so committed to do what I do.”

So here is an example of how I’ll take you out of the Valley:

What most people don’t know about me is that I was clinically depressed. I had lost Lisa in 1997, 1998, and 1999. I was fighting for my life. I was fighting for my own oxygen while working to keep Jelani protected from my sadness. (Valley)

Which is why I’m so committed now to touch as many people as I can going through a low point in their lives. Now I’m so committed to help transform as many lives as I can so I can walk as many people as possible through their dark days. To walk as many people into their brightest light again. That’s why I’m willing to travel the world and willing to stand in front of you again and again. That’s why I’m willing to shoot video after video. That’s why I’m willing to sacrifice time at home with my family to be on the road to touch you. Because I KNOW that where there is hope and where there is desire, transformation can be on its way.

So there you have it. I just took you from the bottom, back to the top again.

To review, the top part of the V is your credibility and Big You. The bottom is the low moment in your life where you felt hopeless, powerless, frustrated, scared, etc. The more details you can give to help your audience see and feel what you felt the better. This is where people meet you and relate to you, so you want to do it early in the speech. Then, the top part of the V on the other side is your commitment that leads into your lesson.

This was just a taste of how “The Valley” technique works.

We go even deeper into this and the 16 other techniques inside our programs. Just remember that no matter where you are speaking or the size of the platform, you want to make an impact and a difference. You don’t want to just be good or even great. You want to strive for becoming unforgettable.

I love hearing your feedback and reading your comments and seeing your #AHA moments. So please share with me what resonated for you about this technique? Are you ready to start using “The Valley” every time you speak?

This is your home. We are your tribe. And I LOVE you, and I BELIEVE in you. These are not just words or a tagline. I say them each week because I truly do.

Your Sister in Prosperity and Possibility,

27 replies
  1. JOYCE ALDRIDGE
    JOYCE ALDRIDGE says:

    Thank you Lisa for the be technique wow my aha moment was understanding that the valley is a single incident and you don’t have to struggle to find what instance that is because it should tie into whatever the topic of your speeches thank you for helping me to understand the importance of moving from humility at the beginning of the top of the mountain and being willing to be totally and completely a little bit boastful about all of that I’ve accomplished thank you thank you thank you

    Reply
  2. Erik Callender
    Erik Callender says:

    Loved this episode!!! As a wildlife educator who speaks to thousands of children a year about wildlife and sustainable living with nature… this talk was a home run for me Ms. Nichols!! I was eating this up!! The Valley spoke to exactly what I’m currently doing and has given me the exact tool necessary to share this message with my audience of educators and families ! Thank you soo much! Love Erik The Reptile Guy

    Reply
  3. Granville
    Granville says:

    Thanks Lisa for helping me see that people I want to serve want to know why I want to serve them, that low part of the V. An incredible technique which I will master by studying it, practicing and sharing all the time.

    Reply
  4. Suzette Blades
    Suzette Blades says:

    This is an absolutely amazing strategy to use. I plan on practicing it so I can use too. Thank you very much for your love n’ authenticity of dealing with your tribe.

    Reply
  5. Lusia Wahome Music
    Lusia Wahome Music says:

    Thanks Lisa for your big heart and mind.. Am always thrilled whenever I hear you speak to “me”. I literally personalize it..I have learnt the 3 levels of the V. The achievements,the Low moments and the Big why i.e the reason for doing what you doin’
    I can honestly tell you that my life is changing step by step and am moving on the right direction since I started following you 3 wks ago.
    Thanks my sister in prosperity.

    Reply
    • Awesome Luisa. Transformation is key to our growth and development.
      Awesome Luisa. Transformation is key to our growth and development. says:

      Great strategies and tools that I can use during my videos, workshops, presentations etc. What a way to lure my audience into my world without them even knowing. I am doing a 30 Day Challenge to post videos and text on FB, and this is a great to introduce myself and new Love you Lisa Nichols for giving away free food when food is so expensive. I can eat this all day long.

      Reply
  6. Precious Davis
    Precious Davis says:

    Hi Ms Lisa your technician was awesome it gives me hope that I can make it out you overcame your obstacles I was born into pain until I was older to understand I hated myself my family and all but going thru life sad frustrated angry holding grudges I only hurt myself even more but now I have realized that it was all to help me grow and be the person I know I can be not the person I adapted to be cause that was conformable but not real it was all I knew I just want to help someone else before it’s to late

    Reply
  7. Rasmus Welling
    Rasmus Welling says:

    OMG Lisa!
    My biggest concern watching this video was where to write to you. You are absolutely gorgeous.
    What a talent you have that reach out SO much further than being a great speaker – you don’t at all just settle for that – you are talking about changing lives – to not be just good or just real good but to be freaking unforgettable! I love that!
    What an incredible inspiration you are Lisa. I want to know everything about your class.

    Reply
  8. Raphael Koomson
    Raphael Koomson says:

    Hi Lisa, I’m always glad to learn from you. This technique has been clearly explained and I really like the examples. They are very practical and I will keep rehearsing them. You surely share in my success story. Many Thanks!

    Reply
  9. Monica F Grady
    Monica F Grady says:

    I would like to know how to attain information on the Valley Technique. I can be reached at (301-7417453)

    Thank you
    Monica Grady

    Reply
  10. Hlabathi Maapola-Thobejane
    Hlabathi Maapola-Thobejane says:

    It is so amazing how you put all the 3 together: the big me + my lowest point + the breakthrough. I have been trying so hard to avoid the first (the big me) thinking it is some form of bragging. Thank you Lisa..!

    Reply
  11. Akua Fayette
    Akua Fayette says:

    Beautifully spoken and loved your body Lange and bright smile
    …I don’t have issues with speaking, but I am very expressive and want to be less expressive,
    I have been told I’m a great speaker . Each time I was heading for the top, family emergencies would occur, I had an opportunity to meet Oprah while I was invited to Walt Disney to sell my art and do storytelling,
    Even Oprah asked could she use one of my QUOTES. the last day of two weeks at Walt Disney I gift a call that my oldest daughter was diagnosed with lymphoma cancer,.
    She had two babies,a one year old and a two year old…I close my Art Shop and took an active roll in helping her in her recovery ,thank GOD even though she was in the third trimester she was healed and is still alive,
    I was told by Master Chau Chin who speaks to many people like Oprah and President Obama, that I had a story to tell . He gave me the title THE HEALING OF A BROKEN SPIRIT.
    One year later I published the book preparing for a great book tour
    ,Then once again. My life stopped as five members of my family transition My niece my oldest sister ,my brother my nephew ,the last one my only son…and then COVID-19..which halted my travel but brought me back to my purpose.
    So here I am, now ready to get back after being on several PBS Specials for my Storytelling and Symbolic Art.
    I have a Children’s Book that will be out in January .
    It has been laid away 20 yrs.because I refuse to publish it to a company who wanted to take out the historical truth ….I put it away but after my son’s death …I decided nothing would stop me and the series that I had been writing were ahead of themselves…IF ONLY PEOPLE HAD THE SENSE OF A GOOSE…THE GOOSE SENSE SERIES… I know it’s my time and I have to fulfill my purpose….like my daughter when she was born I had my son one years old and faced death , when I saw I might be disable or die at 22.years old I ask GOD :To kill he or heal me !!’ I fell the lull of the bed rocking me to sleep within 24 hours ,I could move and began healing …I am a person of faith in a higher power and know it resides in all of us and I love taking that IAM message to children and women for this is my purpose I understand death and childbirth and have “A Broom “Theory to my life message…it’s late but this site popped up on my iPad and I don’t believe in accidents …I need someone with vision I won a essay contest state wide about “RESPECT THE LAW THE LAW WILL RESPECT YOU “in high school The first black before the schools were integrated ….I was on TV and did not know and had no one to encourage me…I will send you the book if you are interested …Thanks for this opportunity. If this is not to be I AM ok with the outcome…because I know what’s for me will come …I’m a cloud lover since the age of 3 yrs old…I am an old soul..that belief is Solution Oriented and Self Responsibility…thank you.
    Akua Fayette.

    Reply
    • Mary O
      Mary O says:

      Thanks for sharing your story! Indeed you are a strong woman and a great light. I do hope you get to do all those things planned.

      Reply
  12. Garletta Steen
    Garletta Steen says:

    OMG Lisa,
    I will be starting your Ignite class. I thank you for inspiration and teaching that we all have something to share
    with the world. Your step by step coaching is amazing & I’m trying to soak it all up.

    Reply
  13. taj muhammad
    taj muhammad says:

    It is great. I really need it at this time as I have a session with participants on Positive Thinking.
    How should I start my session.

    Reply
  14. Philip Walter Smith
    Philip Walter Smith says:

    Thank you. Loved every minute. I have had a few low points – the lowest having died 3 times and coming back. That allowed me to transform to a new person. Now I try to teach and help. Over the years I have instructed more than 13,000 people and created more than 10,000 jobs in 12 different countries. And I am just beginning. Thank you again.

    Reply
  15. Marsha Biddix
    Marsha Biddix says:

    Wow! Love it! Great way to start my day. This video was short and sweet but very powerful and impactful. My takeaway and next steps are to start my message with building creditability, then transition into one story that ties to the topic that will show my why and commitment. I am currently reading your book “Abundance Now” and it’s so encouraging, motivating and certainly equipping me along my journey. Love your powerful quotes, tips, and words of wisdom. Thank you for sharing your gifts with the world! May God Continue to Bless you Aways

    Reply
  16. Bette Wilder
    Bette Wilder says:

    Thank you!! Lisa!! The more times you explained the Valley strategy to me, my mind drifted to the early days of speaking and ASL signing to Deaf and Hard of Hearing audience as a helping professional staff member. That is my AHA moment!! I will apply these Valley techniques to my coaching business through Live video!! Thanks again!! You are the best!!

    Reply
  17. Ngozi
    Ngozi says:

    Thank you so much Lisa, you’ve given me the answer to the question that’ve always bugged my mind each I tell my story . I always felt like It’s not done properly like something is missing and the struggle is from showing my WHY. In just few minutes, you just simplified and made me realize what was missing and how to conclude it. Thank you so much

    Reply
  18. Felicia
    Felicia says:

    My biggest take away is that you can be at a high place in your like and still have to walk through the valley or seemly death which I call a transition and by the way some may not make it out of the valley but all things are possible when you know and believe that you are an overcomer! I’m in a valley right NOW but I am coming out the hit the next peak! Thanks

    Reply
  19. taj muhammad
    taj muhammad says:

    Thank you for the beautiful tips that you are sharing so impactfully and so enthusiastically. It shows your passion for our growth and I am really obliged for that because you really shattered many of my negative self talk.
    I just wanted to know I have a two hour talk where should I apply this technique, or should this technique be present throughout my talk? I hope you understand my question.

    Reply

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